The Most Successful Biopic: Celebrating Remarkable Portrayals in Film

Choose the biopic you think is the most successful!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Jan 18, 2024 06:50
Step right up and cast your vote in the ultimate ranking of the most successful biopics of all time! Here at StrawPoll, we've gathered thousands of cinephiles and history buffs to determine which cinematic masterpiece has triumphed in bringing real-life stories to the silver screen. From the dramatic tales of legendary musicians to the inspiring journeys of historical figures, these biopics have captured our hearts and minds, leaving an indelible mark on the world of cinema. But which one reigns supreme? That's where YOU come in! Join the ranks of impassioned voters and make your voice heard, or even suggest a missing gem that deserves its moment in the spotlight. The battle for biopic supremacy awaits – so grab your popcorn, settle in, and let the cinematic showdown begin!

What Is the Most Successful Biopic?

  1. 1
    90
    votes
    This biographical drama about the founding of Facebook is widely regarded as one of the most successful biopics due to its critical acclaim and commercial success. The film won three Academy Awards and grossed over $220 million worldwide.
    The Social Network is a biographical drama film released in 2010. It tells the story of the creation and rise of the social networking website, Facebook, and the subsequent legal battles that ensued. The film explores the complex relationships and ambitions of its main characters, specifically focusing on Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder and CEO of Facebook.
    • Release date: September 24, 2010
    • Running time: 120 minutes
    • Genre: Biography, Drama
    • Director: David Fincher
    • Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin
  2. 2
    21
    votes
    This biopic about mathematician John Nash won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and grossed over $313 million worldwide. The film was praised for its performances, direction, and portrayal of mental illness.
    A Beautiful Mind is a biographical drama film released in 2001. It tells the story of John Nash, a brilliant mathematician who struggles with paranoid schizophrenia and his journey towards redemption, love, and acceptance. The film explores Nash's groundbreaking contributions to the field of mathematics, while also delving into the challenges he faces in his personal life.
    • Release Date: December 13, 2001
    • Genre: Biography, Drama
    • Running Time: 135 minutes
    • Starring: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris
    • Production Company: Universal Pictures, DreamWorks Pictures
  3. 3
    11
    votes
    This biopic about musician Ray Charles won two Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Jamie Foxx's performance, and grossed over $124 million worldwide. The film was praised for its music and authentic portrayal of Charles' life.
    Ray (2004) is a biographical film directed by Taylor Hackford. It follows the life and career of legendary musician Ray Charles, depicting his rise to fame, struggles with addiction, and musical achievements. The film is a captivating exploration of Charles' personal and artistic journey, showcasing his unique blend of rhythm and blues, gospel, and soul music.
    • Release Date: October 29, 2004
    • Running Time: 152 minutes
    • Starring: Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Regina King
    • Academy Awards: Won 2 (Best Actor for Jamie Foxx, Best Sound Mixing)
    • Golden Globe Awards: Won 1 (Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama for Jamie Foxx)
  4. 4
    15
    votes
    This biopic about physicist Stephen Hawking won an Academy Award for Best Actor for Eddie Redmayne's performance and grossed over $123 million worldwide. The film was praised for its performances and depiction of Hawking's life and struggles with ALS.
    The Theory of Everything (2014) is a biographical drama film that tells the extraordinary story of renowned physicist Stephen Hawking. The movie chronicles his life, from his early days as a brilliant student at Cambridge University to his groundbreaking work in theoretical physics and his struggle with the debilitating motor neuron disease (ALS). It focuses on his relationship with his wife, Jane Wilde, and explores the challenges they face together.
    • Release Date: November 7, 2014
    • Genre: Biography, Drama, Romance
    • Runtime: 123 minutes
    • Main Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones
    • Academy Awards: 4 wins - Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Editing
  5. 5
    15
    votes
    This biopic about President Abraham Lincoln won two Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Daniel Day-Lewis' performance, and grossed over $275 million worldwide. The film was praised for its performances, direction, and historical accuracy.
    Lincoln is a biographical drama film released in 2012. It was directed by Steven Spielberg and tells the story of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, during the final months of his life and his efforts to pass the Thirteenth Amendment to abolish slavery.
    • Release Date: November 9, 2012
    • Genre: Biographical drama
    • Running Time: 150 minutes
    • Main Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn
    • Box Office: $275.3 million
  6. 6
    7
    votes
    Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)
    Queen · Public domain
    This biopic about musician Freddie Mercury and the band Queen won four Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Rami Malek's performance, and grossed over $900 million worldwide. The film was criticized for its historical inaccuracies but praised for its music and performances.
    Bohemian Rhapsody is a biographical drama film released in 2018 that tells the story of the British rock band Queen and its lead vocalist, Freddie Mercury. The film follows the band's formation, rise to fame, and Mercury's personal struggles. It culminates with their legendary performance at the Live Aid concert in 1985.
    • Release Date: October 24, 2018 (UK premiere)
    • Running Time: 134 minutes
    • Production Company: 20th Century Fox, Regency Enterprises
    • Budget: $52 million
    • Box Office: $903.7 million
  7. 7
    7
    votes
    This biopic about mathematician and codebreaker Alan Turing won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and grossed over $233 million worldwide. The film was praised for its performances, direction, and depiction of Turing's life and contributions to WWII.
    The Imitation Game (2014) is a biographical drama film based on the life of British mathematician and logician Alan Turing. The film portrays Turing's key role in cracking the Enigma code during World War II, which helped the Allies defeat the Nazis. It also explores his personal struggles, particularly his homosexuality in a society where it was criminalized.
    • Release Date: November 14, 2014
    • Genre: Biography, Drama, Thriller, War
    • Director: Morten Tyldum
    • Writer: Graham Moore
    • Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode
  8. 8
    12
    votes
    Walk the Line (2005)
    Johnnycash1950 · CC BY-SA 3.0

    Walk the Line (2005)

    James Mangold
    This biopic about musician Johnny Cash won an Academy Award for Best Actress for Reese Witherspoon's performance and grossed over $187 million worldwide. The film was praised for its music and performances.
    Walk the Line (2005) is a biographical drama film that depicts the life of American musician Johnny Cash. The movie follows Cash's rise to fame, his struggles with addiction, and his relationship with June Carter. It provides a glimpse into his personal life, showcasing his love for music and the impact it had on him. The film explores themes of love, redemption, and the power of music to overcome adversity.
    • Release Date: September 13, 2005
    • Director: James Mangold
    • Writers: Gillian Welch, James Mangold
    • Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon
    • Running Time: 136 minutes
  9. 9
    14
    votes

    Schindler's List (1993)

    Steven Spielberg
    This biopic about businessman Oskar Schindler, who saved the lives of over 1,000 Jewish refugees during the Holocaust, won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and grossed over $321 million worldwide. The film was praised for its direction, performances, and depiction of the Holocaust.
    Schindler's List is a powerful and critically acclaimed movie released in 1993. It is based on the true story of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved the lives of more than a thousand Jewish refugees during the Holocaust. The film takes place in Nazi-occupied Poland and follows Schindler's transformation from a profit-driven opportunist to a compassionate savior. It beautifully depicts the horrors of the Holocaust and the bravery of those who resisted it.
    • Release Year: 1993
    • Director: Steven Spielberg
    • Genre: Drama, History, Biography
    • Runtime: 195 minutes
    • Main Cast: Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes
    Schindler's List (1993) in other rankings
  10. 10
    8
    votes
    This biopic about Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and grossed over $127 million worldwide. The film was praised for its direction, performances, and depiction of Gandhi's life and nonviolent activism.
    Gandhi (1982) is a biographical drama film that chronicles the life of Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of India's non-violent, independence movement against British rule. The film depicts Gandhi's journey from a young lawyer to becoming the renowned political and spiritual leader he is known for today.
    • Release Date: December 3, 1982
    • Director: Richard Attenborough
    • Lead Actor: Ben Kingsley
    • Genre: Biographical drama
    • Running Time: 188 minutes

Missing your favorite biopic?

Graphs
Discussion

Ranking factors for successful biopic

  1. Accuracy
    The accuracy with which the biopic portrays the real-life story and characters is a critical factor in determining its success. Biopics that are able to capture the essence of their subjects and the events in their lives accurately tend to be more successful.
  2. Acting
    The quality of the acting is another important factor in determining the success of a biopic. Great performances by lead actors can make a biopic come alive on screen and earn the praise and attention of both critics and audiences.
  3. Critical reception
    The critical reception of a biopic by film critics is also a key factor. Biopics that receive positive reviews tend to generate more buzz and interest, leading to greater success.
  4. Box office success
    The box office performance of a biopic is also an important indicator of success. A biopic that performs well in the box office tends to be seen as a commercial success, reflecting the public's interest and support for the subject of the biopic.
  5. Awards
    The number of awards a biopic has won is another important factor in determining the success of a biopic. Awards often reflect the quality of the film's production and the impact it has had on the industry, making them a good gauge of a biopic's success.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most successful biopic. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or biopic is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!

Statistics

  • 1137 views
  • 200 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each biopic once every 24 hours. The rank of each biopic is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most successful biopic

Biopics, or biographical films, have been a popular genre in the movie industry for decades. These films tell the story of a real-life person or group of people, often with a focus on their accomplishments, struggles, or both. Biopics have the potential to be both informative and entertaining, providing audiences with a glimpse into the lives of some of history's most fascinating figures. Over the years, many biopics have been made, but only a select few have achieved widespread critical acclaim and popularity. In this article, we'll take a look at some of the most successful biopics of all time and what makes them so memorable.

Share this article